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Achieving Social Connection & Community Resilience: joining the dots between policy, practice, research and community

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Event description

Social connection has health benefits, brings social support and a sense of belonging. Socially connected communities are a pillar of community resilience which is vital for disaster preparedness, coping and recovery. Generating connection and resilience is a practice and policy issue, nationally and internationally.

Supporting individuals to connect is one thing, but how are connected communities built and supported, and can we achieve policy that helps to coalesce rather than to divide people?

With a focus on outer-metro fringe areas with rapidly growing populations, where people from across Australia and the world find themselves striving to find connection and community. This event looks at what people do for themselves, and scrutinises the role of councils, non-profits, humanitarian organisations, communities, citizens and policymakers.

The event presents the latest evidence from the Australian Research Council funded project ‘Activating Social Connection’, with a keynote from Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh MP. Speakers who are leaders in their fields will address practice and policy questions raised in the research and offer constructive, feasible actions for improvement.

This event will give you:

  • up-to-date Australian evidence about citizens and social connection in growth areas
  • feasible, positive strategies to tackle challenges of building social connection and resilience
  • a network of like-minded people for further connection and action.

Who’s it for?

We encourage anyone who has social connection and/or generating resilience as part of their job or their role in community, including those working in facilities management, social and community services, planning, community development, primary healthcare and business. We also encourage volunteers, community leaders, community connectors and citizens to attend. 

Speakers include:

Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, on how governments and policymakers can better foster social connection and resilience.

Professor Jane Farmer, Swinburne University of Technology
, on findings from ARC Linkage Project, Activating Social Connection for diverse people living in outer-metro suburbs.

Rhiannon Hunt, Australian Red Cross
, on developing community resilience.

Abiola Ajetomobi, Leading Impact Now
, on migrant experiences of resilience and connection.

Dr Lucy Gunn, RMIT University
, on developing a system of social connection measurement.

Mandy Neave, Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
, on moving past bureaucracy and risk-aversion to facilitate communities to connect

Seb Cunningham and Janet Reid, City of Casey
on the role of councils in activating social connection

Priscilla Ennals, Neami National
, on the role of social prescribing for community-level connection

Chris Kwong, Australian Red Cross
, will be co-hosting the event with Jane Farmer

And other speakers, including citizens and community leaders, will be responding to questions raised in the research such as how to develop communities for social connection from the start.

Further information

Download the event brochure here

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